May 31, 2012

The end of the road with Pipes & Sticks on Route 66

The group of world famous pipers and drummers who hit the road in early-April on the “Pipes & Sticks on Route 66” tour have embarked on a one-of-a-kind journey, and members of the team have offered to provide pipes|drums Magazine readers with an exclusive travel log on the adventure. Drummers Mike Cole and Jim Kilpatrick and pipers Stuart Liddell, Angus MacColl and Willie McCallum are taking three weeks to traverse the old US Highway #66, playing recitals and conducting workshops along the way. In this final installment, Mike Cole, Willie McCallum and Stuart Liddell fill us in on the exploits of the gang on the last three days of the adventure.

Day 10:

By Mike Cole

The evening sky in Monument Valley was crystal clear providing us with a magnificent horizon to view the stars. As a city dweller, this was a rarity to relish and enjoy.

A  few of us rose at 5:30 am to catch the sunrise. It was nothing short of spectacular. Before we hit the road again we decided to drive into Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park to visit their information center and venture a bit further into the valley.

There were numerous touring outfits that were taking people down the mostly unpaved roads and into the canyons of the park . . . mostly in four-wheel-drive vehicles. “Nothing a big Mercedes can’t handle,” I thought.

After a three-mile an hour grind on roughly a mile of switchbacks and severely cratered single track roads, we found a terrific spot for taking some pictures. It seemed as if we had the place to ourselves and then we were invaded by a large and loud tour group with similar intentions . . . bloody tourists! As we watched some very stout SUVs carefully negotiating the trail below, it was decided that carefully retracing our path out of the park would be the smart choice.




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